What’s just outside of your umbrella?

When the interviewer asked if I’d ever dealt with union officials, it seemed best to admit: “That will be a learning area for me.” Was it ever! I privately thought of one key person as a well-known figure in the French revolution and dreaded antagonizing him; yet interacting with him helped me learn when to stand my ground and how to facilitate discussions. We all have the people with whom we’d prefer to have lunch, the recreation at which we excel, the place — be it mountaintop or sailboat — where we feel most alive or most comfortable. Let’s call that the “umbrella.” The problem is, umbrellas block the view. Outside of your umbrella are, yes, more risks, but also opportunities, whether to enjoy beauty — as I did on a recent rainy morning — reach an unforeseen audience, or grow into the people we can become. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, take a peek.

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